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Media Control: the Spectacular Achievements…
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Media Control: the Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda (1997)

by Noam Chomsky

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READ IT!!!!

That really is all that needs to be said and, for once, the use of a plethora of exclamation marks is justified: indeed, one could argue that I haven't used nearly enough.

Having said that 'Read It!!!' is all that needs to be said, I have never let the superfluity of my words halt a stream of verbiage, and I am not about to start. This is more a pamphlet, than a book, reaching only 100 pages. Do not let this fool you, I have struggled through works of a thousand plus pages and been less enlightened at the conclusion. The section upon the early history of propaganda is only two pages but, were I to learn it word for word, my input to any discussion of media control would be improved exponentially.

The author, Noam Chomsky, is American and the book concentrates upon American media. This would usually be a downside to the arguments but, in this case, the parallels between Britain and US media control are so close that the points are accentuated rather than diminished. This really is a must read work. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Jun 8, 2015 |
This little book (more of a pamphlet, actually) might be my favourite one by Chomsky. It is an introduction to a subject that is extremely important for modern America. Due to the lack of examples, notes and appendices, it is much more concise and readable than Chomsky's other works on media and propaganda. Of course, the readability comes at a cost - this is not one of Chomsky's typically thorough academic treatments. One should still have a look at his more comprehensive works to become familiar with all of the evidence supporting his claims in Media Control. ( )
  jeffjardine | Jul 17, 2012 |
Around 2005 I cataloged a video for the library where I work. In 1990 Edward Bernays, the creator of public relations as we presently understand it, spoke at my school. He was about 100 years old at the time and died a few years later. He gave a fascinating talk and although all that happened was a staionary camera focused on him as he told stories for a couple of hours I took a bit longer to catalog the tape for having found myself taken up with the narrative. He told a story about World War I in which he mentioned, only in passing, that at the time he was doing some "work as a civilian advisor' to the War Department. He did not say "the Creel Commission," which leads me to believe that he at least had some idea that many view his work as something other than noble or admirable. If he thought his work good and honorable, why did he talk about anything else but how he helped invent propaganda and worked to bring the United States into the First World War.

This book by Chomsky provides the background and context to help understand how one of the father's of propaganda would evade credit (or blame?) while telling the story of public relations. Unlike his longer books, this one proves very easy to read and much more straight-forward. Small independent presses have, over the last 10 years or so, published short, pocket sized, books of Chomsky's thoughts on a given theme. When heavily edited, Chomsky comes across as far more accessible and understandable than in any of his larger works, such as Necessary Illusions or Manufacturing Consent.

The word "Propoganda" has acquired a pejorative meaning. Those creating and disseminating it have a need to avoid having their life's work recognized for what it is. As such you read and hear numerous definitions of "propaganda" and various self-serving explanations of what does and does not constitute this type of communication. Chomsky takes most of the book to describe and define propaganda and place it in the context of U.S. history. ( )
6 vote sa54d | Aug 29, 2006 |
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"Chomsky's backpocket classic on wartime propaganda and opinion control has been updated and expanded into a two-section book, and redesigned following the acclaimed format of his Open Media anti-war bestseller, 9-11. The new edition of Media Control also includes 'The Journalist from Mars,' Chomsky's 2002 talk on the media coverage of America's 'new war on terrorism.' Chomsky begins by asserting two models of democracy -- one in which the public actively participates, and one in which the public is manipulated and controlled. According to Chomsky 'propaganda is to democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state,' and the mass media is the primary vehicle for delivering propaganda in the United States. From an examination of how Woodrow Wilson's Creel Commission 'suceeded, within six months, in turning a pacifist population into a hysterical, war-mongering population,' to Bush Sr.'s war on Iraq, Chomsky examines how the mass media and public relations industries have been used as propaganda to generate public support for going to war. Chomsky touches on how the modern public relations industry has been influenced by Walter Lippmann's theory of 'spectator democracy,' in which the public is seen as a 'bewildered herd' that needs to be directed, not empowered; and how the public relations industry in the United States focuses on 'controlling the public mind,' and not on informing it. Originally written in the immediate aftermath of the Gulf War, Media Control cites numerous examples of how Bush Sr. pushed the American population into supporting an attack on Iraq, a particularly relevant analysis today as Bush Jr. attempts to convince a reluctant population that we should again go to war." -- Publisher description.… (more)

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Seven Stories Press

2 editions of this book were published by Seven Stories Press.

Editions: 1583226648, 160980015X

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